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My name is Jeannie Mark

I’m a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken my passions — and forge a life set by my own rules.

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The Philippines

Figures and Landscapes

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China

Moving Forward

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China

Before You Teach in China, Read This

Ibiza: Fresh Look at This Spanish Island

It’s no surprise that I LOVE Spain. I ran with the bulls in Pamplona, bounced like a kid while touring Alhambra in Granada and pinched myself as I watched flamenco dancing in Seville. I get asked about Ibiza all the time and have no answers since I haven’t been there, but I also hesitant to answer because of its party reputation. So I’m letting my guest writer Jeska Believes give you the lowdown on Ibiza. Is it still a place of raves and club dancing?

Ibiza

Spain’s infamous party island, Ibiza, may be known for hangovers, fake tans, and wild backpackers, but these days the Balearic Island off the coast of Spain is luring more refined travelers to its shore. With a newly-improved marina drawing super-yachts to the island, and plenty of fine dining and luxury accommodations to choose from, this top-class Mediterranean getaway spot can provide a memorable escape for any age group.

Why Wild is Important for Every Woman Traveler

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Wild. That’s what I called myself  in 2010 when I filled my cranberry red backpack to the brim, a one-way ticket to India burning in my hand.

I am a restless soul that can’t be caged. A dragon longing to spread her wings, spew fire on the earth, to leave my mark — show I was here and existed… Burn trails; guzzle life until my belly is overfull; howl at the moon cresting against a starry night. 

But I’m also a solo woman. One who received quizzical stares at an airport in Shanghai, the border officer interrogating me on why I was alone.

Or when I walked on the side of the highway near Savarsai, India, being the only female foreigner within a 300 mile radius, to be stopped by a young couple asking me questions. Why aren’t you married? You are by yourself? 

Why? Why? Why?

Why Should You Travel to Egypt?

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Remember Egypt?

I wrote about Egypt in 2012 and stated that I wanted to travel there. I have to, absolutely have to, see the pyramids.

I remember defending Egypt, despite some warnings about female travelers going there.

It still remains on my bucket list with hopes I’ll be there in the next couple of years.  (My other dream is to see Tehran).

Is tourism heading back to normalcy with the election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi? Yes, I think so — slowly but surely. Again, my feelings on travel rest on what I experience, not what I’m told.

As for Egypt, these are some of the things I long to experience. Now to craft my potential itinerary on them!

Releasing Sea Turtles in Costa Rica

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Piro Beach was empty, but not silent.

The darkness swallowed body and mind, until Manuel instructed us to turn on our headlamps. Our heaving breath was drowned out by the strong surf, roaring and crashing against the shore. The sand, in contrast, was soft and silky, sifting through my toes easily.

Minutes before my feet were encased in rubber boots that scraped and pinched my big toes, but now free, I wiggled them, digging in the sand further. We all had to wear these boots, because when something is worth the journey, you walk miles to get there.

We weaved through mucky paths and thick bush, crossed a river that weighed down my boots because water seeped in with alarming speed, only to navigate a muddy embankment, my boots squeaking from water and friction. Looming trees and engorged vines enveloped us, along with the dark.

Winner of the Versalette Giveaway!

I applaud you all. Every single answer to the Versalette Giveaway was a joy to read, but sadly I can only select one winner.

Each tale had me laughing, crying or applauding. One woman hoped she could wear it as her boyfriend proposed to her somewhere exotic. Another one said she’d wear it to the next TBEX in Spain and rave about the person who gifted her with it.

Trust me, it was really hard to decide. I’d give one to all of you if I could!

So, who is the lucky gal?

By |December 1st, 2014|Travel Tips|4 Comments|

The Reality of Volunteering at a Yoga Resort

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Travel can be perception.

We have an expectation how a place will feel, what will happen once we get there.

I’ve been quiet about my time at Blue Osa — only because I needed time to distill my experience.

People make assumptions about me, that my life is all fantasy  — full of fun, fun, fun!

I also harbour fantasies (other than the normal variety) and I had quite a few about volunteering at a yoga resort.

Before I discuss realities, let me cover a few points first.

One, the grounds of Blue Osa are truly magical, initially relaxing me. Because I was wound too tight from my lousy experiences in Europe; the setting was literally paradise.

Two, I do yoga everyday minus travel days, so the opportunity to delve deeper into yogic philosophy was the perfect union (me + a yoga resort).

Third, it was fascinating to use my writing skills in a volunteer-in-trade role, essentially writing for my bed and dinner.